Rise in car thefts at Detroit Metro Airport raises security concerns

Ethel Walsh

ROMULUS, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – When Joe Hebeka returned from a holiday in December, he observed the tires on his automobile, a 2022 Jeep Wagoneer, have been stolen.

Hebeka still left the jeep at a parking garage at the Detroit Metro Airport. It was sitting on cinderblocks and bricks with harm that would expense him around $8,000.  

“It took a several seconds just for us to comprehend this was actually our car,” stated Hebeka. “I imagined possibly this was a error. This won’t be able to be.”  

“I thought it was a risk-free area to park. It really is only 100 yards absent from an intercontinental airport. I assume you can park your motor vehicle there and it will be safe.”

Stories of folks concentrating on automobiles at the airport’s parking garages are turning into more typical. Motor vehicles being stolen seems to be the most important difficulty.

An airport spokesperson states there had been only three car or truck thefts in 2021. In 2022, that selection shot up to 29, which is shut to a 900% increase.

“The motor vehicle had sat for at the very least 10 hrs-12 hrs, so nobody is patrolling,” Hebeka stated.  

Hebeka was also shocked to obtain out there have been primarily no cameras in the parking garages at the airport. He mentioned when authorities reviewed surveillance footage, the online video was from the spot in which motorists get their tickets.

He said there was no angle exhibiting what took place to his car or truck within the parking garage.

No a single was arrested. 

“When you search all-around, you notice there usually are not any cameras wherever. It can be very unsafe,” Hebecka mentioned.

Hebecka says he’s hoping the airport will get the security problems very seriously.

“With any luck , if something arrives out of this to deter this from occurring, just avoiding anybody from perhaps obtaining injured.”

A spokesperson for the airport despatched the following assertion:

“It is very well known that vehicle thefts are surging in the bordering parts and throughout the state. At Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, we function a single of the biggest parking spots in the globe totaling more than 18,000 on-airport parking spaces. The McNamara Terminal Parking Deck by alone is the 3rd-greatest solitary deck in the globe, which sits forward of the Disney World, Magic Kingdom and Epcot Tons mixed. Ordinarily, more than a million cars park at DTW just about every 12 months 29 ended up stolen in 2022 and a few in 2021. We are informed there is a sharp raise in the thefts of one particular car or truck make in unique and have engaged the manufacturer to seek specialized aid.

“The stability of just about every car at DTW stays a precedence. In response to the latest thefts, our Airport Authority Police Office and Stability groups have extra patrols to be certain 24-hour coverage in the Massive Blue Deck and the McNamara Terminal Parking Deck. We are actively checking out set up of supplemental cameras and other technology to greatly enhance stability, as perfectly as pursuing supplemental investigative and enforcement approaches.

“Suspects have been arrested who are related to thefts at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Our law enforcement section continues to work with quite a few legislation enforcement organizations to address stolen automobiles not only at DTW, but across Michigan.”

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